North Korea Missile Tests
By: Charlie V. ('20)
On Sunday, May 14, 2017, North Korea test launched an intermediate – range ballistic missile from Kusong, a city in central North Pyongan, North Korea’s capital province. The missile reached a distance of 430 miles and an altitude of 1,245 miles after flying for more than 30 minutes and landing in the sea of East Japan. The missile had the possibility to target military bases in the Pacific Ocean such as the US Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. This missile could act as North Korea’s next step to developing a missile that could reach the west coast of the United States, 4,800 miles away. This represented North Korea’s first missile launch since April 29, 2017 where the tested projectile detonated only a few minutes after takeoff.
According to North Korea state media, Sunday’s test proved that North Korea could launch a nuclear-tipped missile. However, the United States remains in the dark about how developed North Korea’s nuclear program is. Problems with long range nuclear missile include protecting the missile from breaking apart as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere, yet North Korea’s test launch verified that North Korea’s missiles can survive reentry and properly function.
US officials, as well as Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, provided input on the situation and condemned the launch, Putin calling it "counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous." Russia reacted to the missile by placing their air defense on the eastern border on high alert, and soon after, Putin met with Xi Jinping, China’s president, in Beijing to deliberate the event. United States President Donald Trump’s administration labeled North Korea as a first concern security affair, and followed up by sending warships and submarines to the seas off the Korean Peninsula and had American soldiers practice drills with South Korean and Japanese troops. The White House expressed that the test represented “a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against Pyongyang.”
Along with the United States, Russia, South Korea, Japan, China, and North Korea were members of the six – party talks that planned to find a peaceful solution to ending North Korea’s nuclear program by offering diplomatic and economic assets including normalization with US and Japanese relationships in return for the disbandment of the nuclear program. As of April 14, 2009, North Korea has declared themselves as out of the six – party talks and would continue to use nuclear program. Because North Korea has pulled out of the talks, they believe they have the green light to test and use as many missiles as they want.
South Africa’s Future: More of the Same?
OP-ED | William Harris ('20)
In 2019, South Africa will hold consequential elections, in which a successor to Jacob Zuma, the incumbent President of South Africa and President of the African National Congress (ANC), will be chosen. The political implications of this election are colossal, as this election will decide whether South Africa’s next president will be a true president of the people or not, whether South Africa’s constitution will be respected or not, and whether the ANC will continue to be the ruling party or not.
The danger that South Africa faces is a contempt for the country's constitution that has been openly displayed by both South Africa’s current president, Jacob Zuma, and Julius Malema, a current presidential candidate, on numerous occasions. President Zuma has been sanctioned by South Africa’s constitutional court for his misuse of government funds while Malema has allegedly been involved in fraud and corruption (Msimang). Recently, Malema has started incorporating strong constitutional messages into his rhetoric, but whether or not he would actually follow through on these messages is hard to say. South Africa’s developing economy is growing substantially, along with countries such as China and India. It would be unfortunate if South Africa’s economic growth was undermined by the instability a constitutional crisis would cause.
Since South Africa’s Presidency is elected by Parliament, and not through a direct election, often the president of the majority party becomes President. Because of this, it is unlikely that Malema will succeed Zuma. However, the demographics that the ANC and EFF appeal to may be evidence that the people of Africa are ready for a change. A younger, more urban demographic supports the EFF, while a poor, rural demographic makes up a lot of the ANC’s base (Msimang). With an urbanizing and rapidly changing South Africa, perhaps Julius Malema epitomizes the future of the country’s leadership, and perhaps that future will be realized in 2019.
Msimang, Sisonke. “Will Malema succeed Zuma?” Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 5
May 2017. Web. 18 May 2017.
The Case for Keynesian Policy
OP-ED | William Harris ('20)
In November 2015, António Costa was elected as Prime Minister of Portugal, and his win resounded as a rebuke to austerity measures put into place by previous administrations due to Portugal’s high levels of debt and lack of recovery from the market crash of 2008 (“Portugal’s”). Costa ran on an economic platform that seemed unfeasible; he promised to reverse austerity measures while complying with euro area regulations, limits, and targets. However, for 13 consecutive quarters, Portugal’s economy has grown and Portugal’s deficit has fallen below 2.5%, the euro area’s deficit limit (“Portugal’s”). Perhaps the most remarkable facet of Portugal’s recent period of economic growth is that it has occurred while Prime Minister Costa’s government reversed austerity measures, which reverted lessened government pensions, lowered wages, and lengthened working hours to what they were before Portugal’s government received its bail-out. This Keynesian approach differs greatly from the pro-austerity rhetoric that is found throughout economically divided Europe. While austerity measures promote economic growth and reduce budget deficits in the long term, while significantly lowering workers’ wages and benefits in the short term, Keynes famously stated, “in the long run, we are all dead.” Portugal’s more idealistic approach to deficit reduction and economic growth provides hope for Greece and Italy, both of which face colossal economic crises in regards to their deficit and debt. What has yet to be observed is whether or not Portugal’s idealistic approach to recovery will be sustainable. Not only are the implications of Portugal’s economic growth regarding Keynesian alternatives to austerity relevant to the Euro Area, but they are also especially relevant in America at a time when workers’ rights and programs for the poor are portrayed as antithetical to economic growth by The Trump administration.
“Portugal’s recovery: Growing out of it.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited.
1 April 2017: 44. Print.